Escape rooms are fun. It’s a group activity that can test your group of friends or family members’ wit and ability to communicate. However, it can be difficult to beat an escape room in one try, which can be frustrating, especially if you’re competitive.
So, follow this short guide if you want to win escape rooms.
Listen Intently To The Guide Or Staff
Typically, escape rooms will leave one of their staff inside you the room. They can act as a simple guide, host, or game master. Primarily, they’re there to provide you with essential information regarding the game. Sometimes, they may give hints to help you along the way, like those in Hour To Midnight Escape Rooms in Portland Oregon.
When they speak, you should always listen intently. You wouldn’t want to miss any instruction that can help you in the long run.
Also, take advantage of the host when they start their introduction. And at this point, you can ask all the questions you want. For example, ask if the host can provide hints if you’re stumped. How many hints can they provide? Are there any consequences if you ask for hints? Does the room contain fake clues or red herrings? Can you disassemble some of the props when looking for clues? Is the scenario for the room linear or non-sequential?
Once the introduction is over, take a few minutes of your time to discuss what you have learned. Make sure everyone is on the same page and fully understands everything the staff has shared with them. Concentrate and analyze everything as if your life is at stake, like playing a horror escape game like GTFO.
Focus On Familiarizing The Room First
Prioritizing looking for hints and clues within the room can induce tunnel vision. Unfortunately, it won’t help you out. So, before you do some clue-finding action, familiarize yourself with the room’s layout and props.
You can stand in one corner of the room and view everything from that vantage point. Take note of all the props and approach them one by one later.
However, in most cases, the game master may guide you to a starting point. You need to inspect this starting point first to help you go through everything in the proper sequence. Also, remember that some escape rooms or game masters may explicitly tell you not to search in certain areas. Believe them as they will often tell the truth. These hosts are often tasked to help you and not make the game more challenging.
As you go through the props individually, inspect every nook and cranny. It’s expected that some hints are taped on corners and bottom parts of props. Some may even require you to disassemble some of the props as some hints and clues may be written on some of the props’ components.
Let Everyone Know About What You Discovered
As you wander around the room, all of you will find hints and collect puzzle pieces. And when you or your friends discover something, it will help you a lot if you let everyone know about it.
Be sure to check everywhere. The usual places where you can discover something are inside books, secret floor or wall compartments, coat pockets, behind paintings, and table drawers.
Remember that you’re fighting against the clock when in an escape room. The earlier your team can become aware of all the clues and puzzle pieces, the earlier you can come up with the solution or the next step.
Organize All The Information And Clues You Collected
Generally, an escape room will have a table or a flat surface where you can safely place all the items and puzzle pieces you collect. It will be much easier for your team to solve the puzzle if you have all the key items in one place. Also, if you have items that come in pairs—say a key and a lock—make sure they’re attached or together at all times.
On the other hand, some rooms will allow you to bring materials you can use to take notes. Some may even have pens and paper ready to help you discuss things. Utilize them as much as possible to organize all the information you collect.
However, not all escape room companies will allow items like these, which often include cameras and phones. Check what your escape room host forbids, as some of them may ban you from playing again if you fail to abide by their policies.
And before you forget, wear a watch. It can be quickly annoying to keep turning around and checking the clock in the room.
Be Calm As Much As You Can
You’ll feel great excitement during the first few minutes of the game. However, when you consume half of the time allotted for you and haven’t found anything, that excitement can become frustrating. Unfortunately, that feeling of frustration may only spark arguments and unnecessary banter.
If you genuinely want to win or beat the escape room, calmly approach everything. Remember that the only stressor in an escape room is the remaining time. There’s no actual threat, and there’ll be no repercussions if you don’t beat the room.
However, if you allow frustrations and annoyance to take over your team, you’re guaranteed that you won’t win. Not to mention that if you act out and damage any prop inside, you’ll have problems after you get out. Some hosts may kick you out, make you pay for the damages, or ban you outright. And any of those consequences will prevent you from beating the room.
And always take a minute to step back and discuss the relevance of the clues and information you have. Give yourselves time to analyze what they mean and how you can use the clues you found on the other props in the room.
If you want to try your mettle and patience, try a virtual escape room first. It can let you experience how you can muster your patience and the ability to keep calm at all times.
Choose Who You’ll Bring With You Wisely
As much as possible, bring friends or family members close to you. Remember that there’s no room for awkwardness if you want to win. If the ones you get are too shy or awkward to speak up, you’ll lose because you failed to communicate.
Also, it’s a good idea not to bring the maximum amount of people. Escape rooms are small, and getting the maximum number of people will make the room too cramped and crowded. And if that happens, it will be too difficult to inspect all the items and props, which can make you lose a lot of time.
Of course, you may have heard stories that a solo or two-person team can be enough. However, those are escape room pros. Typically, it’s rare for even three-person teams to beat modern escape rooms. So, as much as possible, get at least four people to be with you to win.
Have Some Presence Of Mind
Indeed, you’ve lost your keys before. You’ve spent minutes looking for it, yet can’t find it. It’s an infuriating situation, and you know very well that it can be too stressful and frustrating. And after a few minutes of stopping looking, you’ve realized that it was in your pocket all along.
The same thing can happen in an escape room. Because of desperation and stress, players often overlook the answer or the mechanism that can set them free. Don’t be like that. Keep your cool and have some presence of mind. Don’t allow frustration to blind you, or you will regret it.
Learn To Delegate Task
Even if you’re the self-proclaimed or nominated leader, it doesn’t mean you need to handle, manage, and solve everything by yourself. There’s a reason that you’re inside an escape room as a team. Learn to collaborate and delegate tasks.
If you’re spending a lot of time-solving a puzzle, give up and pass the baton to someone who can take a jab at it. Again, there’s no shame in it. Work as a unit—there’s no reason for you to be the only one who gets to have fun solving everything.
Also, if you see someone dillydallying, get their attention and tell them what they can do to help. Make sure that everyone is contributing to solving the game. Of course, you don’t want to force someone if they don’t want to. You can just make a mental note that they’re not ideal to be in this kind of group activity next time.
Ask For Clues If You’re Stumped
While it’s a good feeling if you beat a room without any help, there’s no shame in asking. Ask the guide for a hint if you’re stumped, and your team is lost on what to do next.
Remember, in some escape rooms, one must interact with the guide or staff to move forward. This is especially true if the room or company you visited added some flavor story or events within the room to help stimulate the atmosphere of actually trying to escape.
This has been a short guide on how to beat an escape room. Take note of these, as these steps can significantly raise your chances of getting out before the time limit runs out. You can always try out this guide the next time you go to one.